The organic food sector is booming. But is it just as important to consider green cleaning products as well as eco-friendly food?
We’re becoming more aware of our food: what we eat, how it’s produced and what’s added to it. Concern for the planet is now a big part of our changing eating habits; the UK organic sector is now worth a whopping £1.95 billion! (That’s according the the Soil Association’s 2016 Organic Market Report.)
So much for what we put into our bodies – but what about the home cleaning products we touch, use and breathe in?
How green is your house?
It’s less publicised that some of these, from washing-up liquid to furniture polish, can contain all manner of (possibly harmful) chemicals. How much of that ‘fresh’ post-clean smell could actually be a mixture of unknown fumes and toxins?
According to the EU Ecolabel board, products with disinfecting or anti-bacterial properties generally have a high aquatic toxicity. (This means they harm fish and other marine life). Not only that, they often last unnaturally long because they kill the bacteria that would otherwise break them down.
If a cleaner claims it can instantly strip years of ground-in dirt and grease, what could it do to your body – and the Earth?
Green cleaning brands
There are, however, new brands that are focussed on caring for the environment: Ecover, Method, Bio-D and Simply, to name a few. These companies try to use as many natural ingredients as possible and ensure their products will biodegrade quickly and fully.
You might expect green cleaning products to be expensive, but that’s often not the case. For example, ASDA has an own-brand grapefruit & kiwi washing-up liquid that promises to be better for both the planet and your wallet.
I like to think, if it’s good for the planet, it should also be good for you.
Are there other alternatives?
If you have babies and pets scuttling around close to your feet, you might want to avoid squirting cleaning products on the floor. That’s in case they are licked up – yes, by either.
While a splash of water and a good scrub usually cleans up most spills and dirt quite well, steam cleaners are a popular alternative for quickly removing grease. It’s claimed they are also good for killing bacteria and allergens – including dust mites, although we don’t test for this. Best of all, you don’t have to use any extra products – the combined power of temperature and pressure does the job just as well.
Some steam cleaners have a separate built-in tank for detergent, but it’s down to you whether you use it. For more advice on how to buy the best handheld steam cleaner, steam mop or cylinder steam cleaner, take a look at our guide.
Do you insist on green cleaning, or are you happy with conventional chemical products? Let us know in the comments.